28 July 2000

K+S expands its operations in The Netherlands

  • K+S forms Frisia Zout B.V. and buys an evaporation plant with a salt capacity of about 1 million tonnes
  • Increased earnings potential in the salt business
  • Excellent addition to existing product range
  • Regional broadening of the European business will enable further growth

K+S is to acquire via a newly formed company, Frisia Zout B.V (Harlingen, The Netherlands), the Dutch salt producer FRIMA (Harlingen) and its subsidiaries Beliss (finishing and packaging) and WKC (power generation) on 1 August this year. The purchase has already been approved by the K+S Supervisory Board and antitrust regulators. Profits from the new business are expected to match the high levels achieved by K+S.

Frisia Zout B.V. will be integrated into K+S's salt business. Frisia Zout B.V. will be responsible for Europe-wide sales within K+S's Salt Segment.

Frisia Zout B.V. will take on almost all of FRIMA's current workforce of 65 people.

The managing director of Frisia Zout B.V. is Dr. Jürgen Barge, who will be based in Harlingen.

Frisia Zout B.V. produces evaporated salt from two caverns. The output is mainly used for industrial, commercial and table salt. The evaporation plant, which first started operating in 1996, is capable of producing around 1 million tonnes of salt a year. The plant is located in the harbour at Harlingen and so enjoys good access to the sea and inland waterways.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dr. Ralf Bethke, Chairman of K+S Aktiengesellschaft, said: "From both a production and logistics viewpoint, Frisia Zout is a valuable strategic addition to our existing German salt operations at Bernburg and Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Hattorf.
K+S's position in the European market will be strengthened by a combination of supply flexibility from its rock salt mining activities-essential for meeting winter-time demand for de-icing salt-and high-output, continuous production from its evaporated salt operations. This situation will help K+S better meet the needs of our customers."

Following the acquisition of COMPO and fertiva at the end of last year, the purchase of Frisia Zout represents a further step towards broadening K+S's core-business base.

K+S, which is based in Kassel (Germany), is one of Europe's leading manufacturers and suppliers of quality crystalline salt. The product range includes iodized and fluoridated table salt, industrial salt as well as various commercial grades. An important market is de-icing salt for highways.

Today, K+S is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of potassium- and magnesium-based products for use in agriculture and industry.

K+S's COMPO subsidiary in Münster is very successful in the market for plant care products and soils for home and garden. The company has several production sites throughout Europe.
fertiva GmbH (Limburgerhof, Germany) markets a comprehensive range of straight nitrogen and multinutrient fertilizers. By the end of 1999 K+S had moved into number two position among European fertilizer manufacturers.

K+S is a leader in the European waste management sector and has its own underground depositories and reutilization facilities.

Other important business activities are IT services, logistics and trading in a selected range of basic chemicals.

The K+S Group employs more than 9000 people at home and abroad. This year the company expects to achieve sales of two billion euros.

K+S Aktiengesellschaft is part of the German MDAX stock index and is currently valued at more than 700 million euro.

Ulrich Göbel

Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722

Ulrich Göbel
Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666

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